|New Orleans saw record visitor numbers in 2010. // (c) Photo by Richard Nowitz/New Orleans CVB|
Last year was a banner year for New Orleans. In 2010, the city welcomed 8.3 million visitors, a 10.7 percent increase over total visitor numbers in 2009. It also marked the first time that the city saw more than 8 million visitors since Hurricane Katrina. Those 8.3 million visitors spent $5.3 billion, a $1.1 billion increase from 2009 and the highest visitor spending amount in the city’s history, according to a study released today.
The 2010 New Orleans Area Visitor Profile survey, conducted by the University of New Orleans (UNO) Hospitality Research Center for New Orleans destination marketing partners, also revealed the following facts:
· Visitation increased by 800,000 (10.7 percent) from 7.5 million people in 2009 to 8.3 million in 2010
· Visitor expenditures increased by $1.1 billion (23.6 percent) in 2009 to $5.3 billion in 2010
· Vacation/leisure visitors spent an average of $569 per trip or $142 per day
· 77.7 percent of visitors surveyed were in New Orleans for vacation/leisure
· 22.3 percent of visitors surveyed were in New Orleans for a convention, association, trade show, corporate meeting or general business travel
· 47.9 percent of business travelers extended their stay for leisure for an average of 2.1 days
· The number of visitors ages 25-34, a demographic New Orleans began targeting more aggressively in 2010, saw an increase from 15.4 percent in 2009 to 18.4 percent in 2010
Tourism is New Orleans’ most important economic engine, employing 70,000 people and pumping $5 billion in new capital into the city each year, more than any other business sector. Domestic and international visitors spent $9.3 billion in the state of Louisiana in 2010.
The 2010 New Orleans Area Visitor Profile report also found that:
· 39.1 percent of New Orleans visitors were in town for the first time; repeat visitation increased from 58.4 percent in 2009 to 60.9 percent in 2010
· Visitation from top feeder markets outside of Louisiana were: Texas, California, Florida, Mississippi and New York
· Visitors age 50-64 made up the largest demographic for 2010 visitors (35.4 percent) followed by 35-49 (32.2 percent), 25-34 (18.4 percent) and 18-24 (5.2 percent ) and 65 and older (8 percent)
· The majority of visitors who stayed in a hotel made reservations through the hotel website (34 percent), a travel agent (22.6 percent), or a travel website (20.5 percent).
· 90.2 percent of visitors who indicated that a cruise was the primary purpose of their trip extended their trip on average 2.4 nights